Through The Lens

Sev Seven

July 7th (that's right, 7/7), 2010, by Chelsea Coyle

In an industry that comprises so many creative types competing for a limited number of clients, it's often the renagade mentality that stands out.

Sev Seven is nothing, if not strong willed. The Montréal-based photographer's confidence and attitude come though not just in his answers, but also in his images, which aren't afraid to stand apart from the conventional and be judged on their own merits.

Montréal, NY, Tokyo, Thailand, Paris


Sev Seven's Profile

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I understand that you are self taught and started in the business at the tender age of 17. How did that all come about?
I started in the fashion industry at 17 not as a photographer.. I left school and wrote to the best agency at the time..offered my services to help out and learn they hired me and it was quickly my job to choose who would and who wouldnt become a model for us.

Did you enjoy working at a modeling agency?
It showed me everything I know today and thru that I started taking pics..I had hired a photographer to shoot and thought, as a born artist, I'd be able to do what he did easily so I just did it... learned by trial... not much error ;)

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What were the highs and the lows of this experience?
With my business cards I had fun getting into clubs and judging Miss Hawaiian Tropic etc lol. The lows? The agency didn't pay much.

You are represented and have studios all over the world. Could you tell our readers where they are located?
Right now Montréal, New York City, Thailand and Paris are my primary work places but i miss Tokyo.. it's awesome there.. I just came from a shoot in Cuba..that was niiiice!

Which is your favourite location to shoot?
On a deserted beach on a highly paid job :P

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Who are some of your heroes (Not necessarily in the fashion industry?)
music.. portishead radiohead
fashion.. D&G;, Karl L.
film.. Cronenberg, Lynch

How would you describe your shooting style?
Original, dark, cool, rock n roll, artistic and deep there are many photographers out there but not many try to make unforgettable shots that will live on forever, even published, they make pretty pictures you forget easily. Their sites are filled with them; mostly good because of the models and makeup and styling... or fotoshop. I want to touch people more deeply. I am a troubled artist not a photographer.

Do you prefer shooting film or still photography?
Both are cool.. muuuch more directing the models or actors in film ..I like it and will be making many more short fashion films. Two are coming out soon.. One in the New York streets.

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How do you feel about digitally enhanced photography?
I'm as good with fotoshop as a camera... so I approve. I retouch not only the face, but the whole body..down to the tippy toes but I don't think a regular ordinary shoot with cool effects is necessarily original photography.

What do you love most about this career?
I don't get up in the morning for under $1,000 ;) I get to work with who I want even if the boss is there.. I'M the boss and I get told I did a good job every day. Not many jobs offer that!

How do you compare shooting in the studio to on location?
Both are cool. I'll trek through the Amazon for good fashion pictures but there's more control in the studio of course.

Any preference?
nope..depends on the shoot, models, pay, point of it all. I'm up for anything!

Do you have a funny photo story?
I've been thrown out of more illegal places than anybody :P My lingerie pics in the airport got us thrown out in 20 minutes... but I got my shot.

What would you be if you couldn't be a photographer?
Two photographers. I am all I want to be and will always be, I live by my own rules.. I create create and create.

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You have so many talents with painting and sculptures! What is your favourite thing to do out of these many styles of artistic form?
I love them all! I paint, sculpt, draw, design and build furniture and clothing, sing etc but photography is the easiest way to show my vision ... and the most paying with the lowest overhead too. I am getting back into painting.. I'll do a show soon as well as a new line of clothing.

You also design furniture? Can you share some designs with us?
Making furniture is so expensive, just getting to the prototype makes it an expensive business to be in if like me you work for yourself. My first piece was a lamp with silver vertebrae bones as the post. I've stoped doing that for now... not cost efficient.

Do you have a client/model you would love to work with?
D&G... love those colors and concepts.

What makes you laugh?
A falling model on a runway lol.

Which rockstar would you be for a day?
pfff... I AM a rock star ;)

I say that but i actually DO have 2 albums out... one I sing crooner and one I sing rock but i do it just for fun. (Tommy Lee to answer the question.)

Any advice for young photographers or our readers?
Too many amateurs are calling themselves pro photographers. I wouldn't call you a real pro, until you're ready to take on a job that costs the client $25, 000 in pay for location, models, makeup, hair etc and that it ALL falls on your shoulders if you or someone else screws up, and that at the end you can't offer them the best pics they will ever get.

Too harsh?

Then; Be original, don't copy, and if you're more of a schooled photographer than an artist.. you can't Learn to be an artist...and to me, you only deserve to have success if you live for your work, feel for your work, hurt for your work...

Thank you so much!


Blogs We Follow

Cailin Hill (The Model Burnbook)

Models x Models (Models x Models)

Liis Windischmann's (14+ LouLou blog)

Laura Kell (A Model Life)

Madison Schill (Chic Greek Geek)

Kathleen Burbridge (Kathleen in Wonderland)

Ania Boniecka (A n i a . B)

Shawn Dezan (motivated//ambition)